Connors family 'slave' jailed for brutal assault on woman
'SLAVE' Michael Phee, one of the men kept in servitude by the notorious Connors family, has been jailed for a vicious assault.
Phee, 33, of Calton Road, Gloucester, spent 11 years under the iron rule of the Connors, who tricked homeless men into living with and working for them.
The five-strong clan, which kept men at the Beggars Roost site, Staverton, among other places, was sentenced to 18 years in prison last December.
And now Phee has followed them there after attempting to strangle a woman while he was having sex with her – a crime, Gloucester Crown Court heard, that almost inevitably came about through the damage caused by his time under the family's watch.
Bring a friend to Yoga with Evelyn at 8pm on Wednesdays, and get...View details
Bring a friend to Evelyn’s “Yoga” class on Wednesdays at 8-9pm, and get your class half for only £3. Offer open to non-members. Contact Natasha on 07958 520042 for details.
Terms: Class running at Fitness4Less, Grosvenor terrace. Non-members welcome.
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
The sex was consensual but the court heard Phee, who had met the woman at Gloucester Park earlier on August 18 this year, started to get 'rough' with her.
Despite her protests he gripped her tightly around the throat and told her "I'm sorry, I'm hurting so much – I've got to kill you. You've got to die," the court heard.
Prosecutor Giles Nelson said the woman was "in a state of panic".
In a statement later the woman said: "It felt like he wanted to rip my throat out." She eventually escaped after neighbours heard the commotion.
Phee later told police she "got what she deserved".
He admitted attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm but Judge Jamie Tabor QC told the prosecution he wished the charge was instead one that would enable him to pass a life sentence.
He said he considered Phee a dangerous man in need of a life term for public protection but his hands were tied because the charge carried a maximum of five years.
He passed a two-and-a-half year sentence on Phee.
Judge Tabor said: "He was one of the Connors' slaves for 11 years and suffered no doubt very considerable psychological damage as a result. He came to Gloucester to start a new life."
Andrew Parker, defending, said Phee now wished he had availed himself of counselling and help to overcome the damage done by his long years of slavery.
He had mounted the attack on the woman because she asked for £20 to carry on having sex with him, he claimed.
Judge Tabor added: "When all that ended with the arrest of the Connors you were a very damaged man. Why you did what you did to this lady I suspect is deeply embedded in your past history and the life you had been living with the Connors. Fortunately for her she got away because I believe when you said you were going to kill her that is what you intended to do."